Up 1,285 this week

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  1 November 1985 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 19,547 users  
Reviews: 215 user | 83 critic

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 14 Jul 2011
a list of 22 titles
created 08 Mar 2012
a list of 39 titles
created 09 Apr 2013
a list of 28 titles
created 16 May 2013
a list of 45 titles
created 20 Sep 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of To Live and Die in L.A..

User Polls

3 wins. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sorcerer (1977)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal
Thief (1981)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Becoming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the mafia, who have other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson
Manhunter (1986)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Former FBI profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial murderer named "the Tooth Fairy" by the media.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen
Rampage (1987)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Michael Biehn, Alex McArthur, Nicholas Campbell
Cruising (1980)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A police detective goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
The Hunted (2003)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An FBI deep-woods tracker captures a trained assassin who has made a sport of hunting humans.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Connie Nielsen
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After a long spate of bad luck, the little criminal Tony and his gang successfully rob one of Brink's security transports, taking $30,000. Surprisingly their coup doesn't make the press. ... See full summary »

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield
Bug (2006)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr.
The Guardian (1990)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Phil and Kate have a baby boy named Jake. They hire a baby-sitter, Camilla, to look after Jake and she becomes part of the family. The Sheridan's friend and neighbor, Ned, takes a liking to... See full summary »

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Jenny Seagrove, Dwier Brown, Carey Lowell
The Driver (1978)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

"The Driver" is a specialist in a rare business: he drives getaway cars in robberies. His exceptional talent prevented him from being caught yet. After another successful flight from the ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani
Killer Joe (2011)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple


Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Chance (as William L. Petersen)
Ruth Lanier (as Darlanne Fleugel)
Thomas Bateman (as Robert Downey)
Michael Greene ...
Jack Hoar ...
Valentin de Vargas ...
Judge Filo Cedillo (as Val DeVargas)
Michael Chong ...


Two cops in Los Angeles try to track down the vicious criminal Eric Masters. Then, one of them is killed by Masters and the other one swears revenge no matter what the cost. After that, the hunt becomes an ob- session and the law he once swore to uphold becomes meaningless to him. Written by Harald Mayr <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A federal agent is dead. A killer is loose. And the City of Angels is about to explode. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

1 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vivir y morir en Los Ángeles  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$967,312 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


1980s band Wang Chung provided much of the soundtrack for this movie. When Chance enters the topless bar for the first time, Wang Chung's first hit song, "Dance Hall Days", is playing in the background. See more »


When Masters is carving the plates to make the counterfeit $20 bills, the plates are not reversed. The plates he made would print mirror image bills. See more »


[Vukovich has been given details about the prospect of testifying in court]
John Vukovich: But you can't get involved, right?
Bob Grimes: Not directly.
John Vukovich: What would it cost for your indirect involvement.
Bob Grimes: $50,000.
Bob Grimes: I know it's a tough call, but it's one you're going to have to make rather quickly.
John Vukovich: I can't hand out my partner. I can't do it, even if I have to go to the joint.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Right at the end, after the credits, there is a shot of William Petersen's face See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXIV (2013) See more »


Uphill Climb to the Bottom
Performed by Walter Jackson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Shamefully misunderstood by the critics
29 April 1999 | by (Canterbury, England) – See all my reviews

One of the very best films of the 1980s this was shamefully neglected and misunderstood by the critics. The problem is: on the surface it's just like an ordinary action crime thriller (and thus won't appeal to the arthouse crowd), except that it makes it difficult to identify yourself with any of the characters. In other words: it violates its genre rules. But this very fact makes it so unpredictable and thrilling, and a proper movie as opposed to a mere genre clone.

The good guys are flawed. This isn't really new, since the mid 1960s there were plenty of flawed heroes in Westerns or police thrillers. The difference is that not only their characters are flawed, they are vulnerable, destructible, they make mistakes. And they pay for their mistakes. Similarly the villains: yes, they are formidable and glamorous, but they are not in the league of the Blofelds or Sentenzas of moviedom. They make mistakes too. And they pay too.

A surprising asset is the film music by Wang Chung, a one-hit-wonder pop obscurity of the era. Their sound perfectly melts with the cinematography, especially in the stylish opening sequence.

126 of 151 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Willem Dafoe's Best Good Role? Try "Only" tabbycat
Awesome Film - Two Questions kieranjw
Strange actor/actress switch. Scott699
Chance's jeans. Good God! Jefbecco-1
Favorite line from movie shmucking
Was this a big movie in the 80s? Never heard of it much these days Lancer01
Discuss To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page